I love country music. Long ago the lyrics “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy” stuck in my head. Personal and professional experience has taught me this statement is true. Moms, our children and families are only as happy and healthy as we are.
That’s a bold statement.
This week I shared by “Mama Ain’t Happy” story at three women’s events. It’s not a story about unhappiness but about how my issues affected my parenting.
I’ve got issues. Do you have issues?
As a counselor in the public sector, it’s safe to say most of us have something we struggle with. It might be long-term or just situational. It might be a relationship. I’m not exempt from the statistics. Neither are you.
When I was a young mom, I felt invincible as long as things went well. When stress, insecurities and demands of parenting got the best of me, I reverted back to behavior I struggled with as a teen and young adult. I responded in ways that brought out the worst in me and negatively affected my kids and marriage. Can you relate?
Becoming a mom doesn’t mean our problems or struggles go away. In fact, having children accentuates them. God was gracious enough through various stages of parenting to reveal how my childhood issues were still a part of me as an adult. They formed my thoughts, opinions and reactions as I dealt with my kids. When I stuffed my feelings so they wouldn’t affect the kids, I responded to the kids out of my pain.
What things do you stuff inside of you? How are you handling your hurts and pain? Are you acknowledging your hurts and dealing with them or are you ignoring them while they eat away at you? Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean the pain goes away. What you do with your hurt is important because your response affects your kids.
Kids are like sponges. They soak up our words, our feelings and our values. No matter how young they are, they absorb the environment around them. If you’re wrestling with anxiety, depression, anger, busyness, self-medication or other things, you can’t ignore them. Giving yourself permission to own your feelings and struggles is important in healing. It’s easy to hide behind the duties and role of being a mom. It becomes hard when parenting isn’t easy and your hurt and pain floats to the surface.
What are your hurts and pains? How can the team at NAM pray for you and lift you up? Don’t shy away from professional or pastoral help in confronting and healing from your pain. Being a mom doesn’t make the hurt go away and your kids need you to be whole for their health, too.
In October, 2013 and July, 2014, the team at Not Alone Mom is holding a conference where hope, encouragement, and healing will be poured out to moms of all ages. I’ll be sharing my story of hope, restoration, and healing.
If you need hope, encouragement and healing, stay connected with Not Alone Mom for upcoming details. In the meantime, what hurt and pain to you have that you need to deal with? How can we pray for you?